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A foster carer’s journey

"It's sad when a dog leaves, but at least you will know that he or she is going back to an owner who really wants them. So all in all it's a win win all round."

Freedom Foster Carer

When you foster with Freedom, you'll not only be helping both a dog and a family to take steps towards freedom from domestic abuse, you'll become a part of our fostering network who tell us that fostering a dog improves their wellbeing and reduces feelings of loneliness.

If you're interested in opening up your home and heart to a foster dog, our Freedom team will take you through the following steps:

Step 1: Application 

To help us match you with a suitable foster dog, we'll initially ask you to complete an application form. This form gives us an overview of your experience and the type of home you can offer to a foster dog. This allows us to ensure we are able to continue with your application.

Step 2: Home visit

We'll then arrange to visit you at your home. Ideally, we'd like to meet the whole family together at the visit, including any other pets you have. We'll talk about any existing pets to ensure they will be happy sharing their home with a foster dog too.

You'll have the opportunity to ask us any questions you might have and at the end of the home visit, we will ask you to sign our ‘Volunteer Foster Carer agreement’ which outlines your responsibilities as a foster carer and our obligations to you as a volunteer.

Step 3: References 

Following the home visit, we will check your references and write to you to let you know if you have been successful in becoming a foster carer.

Step 4: Waiting for a match

Once we have confirmed that your application has been successful, you will automatically be added to our file of available foster carers. You don’t need to do anything else, unless you have any changes to your situation, in which case we ask that you notify us. Please be aware that it may take anything from a matter of days to several weeks before we are able to match you with a suitable foster dog. It may take longer if you have children, existing pets or have additional requirements.

This is because we want to ensure we are matching the right dog to your home and family.

Step 5: Dog offer

When a dog has been referred to us and we identify you as a suitable foster match for them, we will call you to check your availability and provide you with information about the dog. If you would like to go ahead with the placement, a member of the Freedom team will arrange to collect the dog from their owner and bring the dog directly to your home at an agreed time. 

Step 6: Placement 

On the day we bring your foster dog to you, we will bring all the equipment they will need throughout their stay, including:

  • A collar with an ID tag
  • Lead and, if required, harness
  • Bed and bedding
  • Toys
  • Poo bags
  • Food and bowls
  • Brushes

We'll talk you through all the information you need to know about the foster dog, such as their usual routine and any training or medical needs they may have.

Ongoing support 

Once your foster dog has settled in, you will receive ongoing support and guidance from our friendly Freedom team. We will carry out monthly home visits to see how you're getting along and if you need any support at all with your new foster dog. We'll also take photos and post these to your foster dog's owner, keeping them updated on how their beloved pet is getting on.

While your foster dog stays with you, our experienced team will be alongside you every step of the way. 

Benefits of fostering 

Ready to apply?

We're always looking for more foster carers to help dog owners find freedom from domestic abuse.

Apply now

Frequently asked questions

Would you like to know more about fostering a dog with Freedom?

Read our FAQs

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